Cowboys' Streak Now At Eight In A Row
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Oklahoma State won its season-high eighth consecutive game Saturday as the No. 7 Cowboys clinched another series victory with a 6-4 triumph over Kansas State at Tointon Stadium.
With the win, OSU improved to 37-13 overall and stayed atop the Big 12 Conference standings at 15-5. The Cowboys have won six-straight Big 12 series for just the third time in program history since the league began play in 1996, joining the 2006 and 2008 clubs in achieving that feat.
Saturday's win marked OSU's 22nd come-from-behind victory of the season, but it wouldn't be easy as the Cowboys utilized three home runs to take a lead, then hung on for the win in the bottom of the ninth inning when Brendan McCurry got out of a bases-loaded jam for his 15th save of the season.
K-State (24-27, 4-16) took an early lead against OSU starter Tyler Buffett in the bottom of the first, getting a two-out RBI single by RJ Santigate to go up, 1-0.
The lead was short lived, however. In the top of the second, the Cowboys flexed their muscle as the league leader in home runs delivered a pair of solo shots to take a lead it would never surrender.
Zach Fish got things started with an opposite-field blast to tie the game at 1-1. The round tripper was his ninth of the season, tying him for the team lead. Two batters later, it was Conor Costello's turn as the sophomore's fourth dinger of the year doubled the OSU lead.
The Cowboys would add to that lead with a four-run rally in the fifth. After Craig McConaughy was hit by a pitch to open the inning, Dustin Williams stepped to the plate and deposited a Jake Matthys pitch over the wall in right-center field to put OSU on top, 4-1.
They weren't done. Saulyer Saxon doubled to end Matthys' day on the mound, and following a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Saxon scored on a throwing error. Tim Arakawa would provide the Cowboys' final run with an RBI single, extending his streak of consecutive games with an RBI to seven and giving OSU a 6-1 advantage.
The Wildcats would mount a rally of their own in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases, and Buffett then issued his second walk of the inning, this one to Santigate, to bring home a run.
Following the RBI walk that made it 6-2, the Cowboys called on Vince Wheeland out of the bullpen to stop the bleeding. K-State's Austin Fisher greeted the right-hander with a sacrifice fly to cut the Wildcats' deficit in half, and an error made it 6-4 before OSU got out of the inning when Gage Green tagged out Tyler Stover trying to advance to third base on a wild pitch.
Neither team would score over the next 3 1/2 innings, but the Wildcats mounted a rally in their final at bat.
Kivett got things started with a leadoff single against McCurry to open the bottom of the ninth, and after a fly out, a bunt single brought the winning run to the plate. Another fly out moved OSU closer to victory, but then Fisher was hit by a pitch to load the bases and bring up Tanner DeVinny.
DeVinny would prove no match for OSU's closer as McCurry struck out the K-State designated hitter to secure the win.
In a game that saw K-State outhit the Cowboys 11-9, OSU had three players – Saxon, Fish and Costello – finish with two hits apiece.
Wheeland picked up the win with four scoreless innings in relief as he allowed just three hits and struck out one to improve to 7-0.
OSU will look for its third Big 12 series sweep of the season Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sooners Bounce Back To Beat No. 10 TCU
FORT WORTH, Texas – The University of Oklahoma baseball team let a five-run lead in the ninth slip away, but rallied in extras for a 7-5 win in 11 innings over No. 10 TCU on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 27-24 overall and 7-13 in the Big 12, while snapping a 13-game win streak for the Horned Frogs, who dropped to 35-14 and 14-6.
Sophomore second baseman Kolbey Carpenter started the 11th-inning rally with a one-out single to center and moved to second following a walk. Redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh ripped a single to right and Carpenter was thrown out at home trying to score from second. Sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin, who drew the one-out walk, moved to third and scored on the following play on a wild pitch. Alspaugh came in to score on an error by the third baseman to give Oklahoma a two-run lead.
Freshman right-hander Sheldon Neuse, who started the game at third base, earned the win in his first career decision. He allowed four hits and no runs in 2.2 innings of relief with one walk and one strike.
The Horned Frogs forced extra-innings by batting around for a five-run, five hit bottom of the fifth inning. TCU loaded the bases and with one out scored its first run with a base hit by center fielder Cody Jones. Third baseman Derek Odell then made it a one-run game with a bases clearing triple to the right field corner. Neuse moved to the mound to relieve sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. Left fielder Boomer White singled to tie the game before Neuse recorded two outs to send the game to the 10th.
The Sooners threatened first in extra innings as Neuse walked and sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley hit a one-out double to right to put two in scoring position, but OU failed to bring a run in. The Horned Frogs put two in scoring position with one out after a single and a double. Oklahoma issued an intentional walk to load the bases and it paid off as sophomore second baseman Carpenter, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, turned a 4-3 double play.
Freshman right-hander Jake Elliott made his first start on the mound since April 5 after being sidelined with a back injury. He tossed five-scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, while striking out four. Elliott (3-3) was aided by three double plays; none of which were standard groundball double plays.
Oklahoma loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana ended a stretch of 15 retired in a row with a base hit to lead-off the inning. Junior second baseman Keach Ballard followed with a base hit and Aikin reached on an error as he attempted to sacrifice.
Alspaugh and Neuse put the Sooners on the board with RBI groundouts. Alspaugh hit a slow roller to second and Neuse hit a hard grounder deep in the hole at short.
Freshman right-hander Alec Hansen relieved Elliott to start the sixth. Throwing in the high 90s, he worked around three walks in 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts. Sophomore lefty Jeffrey Curran took over for Hansen with two on and two out in the seventh to strike out the only batter he faced.
In the top of the seventh, Haley reached on an error at short and stole second to move into scoring position. Sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn singled to put runners on the corners and a base hit through the right side by freshman designated hitter Niko Buentello scored Haley to push the lead to 3-0.
Oklahoma added some much needed insurance in the top of the ninth, starting the innings with three straight hits. Hermelyn singled and freshman pinch-hitter Austin O'Brien doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Lorenzana singled to bring in Hermelyn and Aikin added a RBI groundout to score O'Brien.
The rubber-match of the series will take place Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick will start for the Sooners.
Quick Start Boosts ORU In Win Over ACU
TULSA, Okla. – Logan Domenico accounted for three runs for Oral Roberts as the Golden Eagles evened their Southland Conference series with a 5-2 victory over Abilene Christian at J.L. Johnson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, ORU (28-23) returned to .500 in conference play at 13-13 and remained in eighth place in the conference standings. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 17-29 on the season and 6-14 in league play.
Domenico led the Golden Eagles with three hits, including a triple, scoring twice and driving in one run. Matt Brandy and Brandon Healy each had a pair of hits in the game.
Jose Trevino finished the contest with a single and drove in a pair of runs on sacrifice flies. Trevino has 40 runs batted in this season, surpassing his team high total of 37 in 2013.
Pepe Gomez (8-3) allowed two runs on just five hits in seven innings of work to earn the win. Taking over in the top of the eighth inning, Jacob McDavid shut down the Wildcats in the final two innings for his third save of the season, and the second in the last three games.
Tyler Eager and Brandon Grudzielanek each had a pair of hits in the game, while Emil Litterer and Gunnar Buhner each had RBI singles. Garrett deMeyere (4-7) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings.
In the bottom of the first, Domenico jump started the Golden Eagle offense with a triple into the gap in left center, his second of the season, and scored on a deep fly ball to left by Trevino. Two batters later, Brandy singled to right to plate Tyler Boss to give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead after one inning.
The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the second as Buhner singled to right to drive in Aaron Draper to cut the ORU lead to 2-1.
ORU added runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings to extend its lead to 4-1. In the third, Domenico led the inning off with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly of the bat of Boss, and in the fourth Austen Colt scored from second on an RBI single by Domenico to extend the lead.
Litterer earned his RBI single in the top of the sixth to plate Tyler Eager to cut the score to 4-2. But in the home half of the inning, the Golden Eagles added an insurance run as Healy walked to start the inning, scoring on Trevino's second sacrifice fly to make it a 5-2 game.
After Gomez sat the Wildcats down in order in the seventh, McDavid entered in the eighth to close out the contest.
ORU and ACU to face each other in the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m. at J.L. Johnson Stadium.